This November we’re really pleased to be supporting the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA).
The DSA’s mission is to create the conditions that people who have Down’s syndrome need to live full and rewarding lives. They provide information, support and resources; raise awareness and put people who have Down’s syndrome at the heart of what they do.
Last month they released a suite of multi-media resources to help people who have Down’s syndrome and their parents, carers and supporters look after their emotional well-being.
The launch of these FREE resources couldn’t have come at a better moment with COVID-19 uncertainty, local lockdowns and restrictions to normal life continue.
The comprehensive suite of resources covers subjects such as: feelings, bullying, stress, relaxation, anger, growing up, bereavement, and changes that can happen within families. There are accessible Easy Read resources for each subject, and the charity has worked with people who have Down’s syndrome throughout, to ensure their lived experiences and needs are reflected. Gillian Bird, Services Director of the Down’s Syndrome Association said:
‘We are delighted to see this huge body of work come together. Designed in collaboration between our expert staff and around 90 people who have Down’s syndrome, the resources will be invaluable for parents, care providers, NHS Trusts and anyone who is concerned about promoting positive emotional well-being at this difficult time.‘
Dramatic changes in all our lives during the past six months have resulted in challenging times for everyone, but even more so for people who have Down’s syndrome. The usual rhythm of life has been disrupted without warning, leaving feelings of isolation, anxiety and frustration. Many people have additional health conditions affecting respiratory and cardiac health, and it can be hard to understand social-distancing and the wearing of face masks. Add to this a possible difficulty communicating feelings both mentally and physically, and it is clear that now, more than ever, that these resources are vital.
‘The mental health needs of people who have a learning disability have long been overlooked. Sometimes people wrongly think that having Down’s syndrome is the reason for a behaviour or problem (called ‘diagnostic overshadowing’) and thus, people with the condition can find it difficult to be listened to. They may need extra help to learn about feelings and emotions, and how to cope with them in positive ways.’ – Gillian Bird.
If you’d like to know more about the emotional well-being resources you’ll find more information on the DSA’s website.
The creation of resources like these takes time. With your support, the DSA can continue its vital work, adapting to the challenges that lie ahead for us all.